Archive | October, 2012

Chipotle and Tomato Braised Collards and Swiss Chard

28 Oct

This is a flavorful and unique way to serve nutritious collard greens.  The spice of the chipotle and the tangy, fermented flavor of the sauerkraut balanced each other really well.  This can be served as is for a flavorful side dish, but I put it over some creamy polenta with a few slivers of parmesan for a hearty vegetarian main course.

Chipotle and Tomato Braised Collards and Swiss Shard

1 lb. collard greens, center ribs removed and roughly chopped

1/2 lb. Swiss chard, roughly chopped

1 tbs. butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped

1 qt. canned chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup sauerkraut

Salt and pepper

In a medium Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook thirty seconds, until fragrant.  Add collards and Swiss chard, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 6-8 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for forty five minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid from tomatoes is mostly reduced and greens are tender.

Chipotle and Gorgonzola Stuffed Acorn Squash

26 Oct

This dish is so simple to make, but I absolutely loved the combination of flavors.  The sweetness of the caramelized roasted acorn squash is an excellent foil to the spicy, smokey chipotles and pungent and creamy gorgonzola.  The honey adds an extra hint of sweetness.  This would make a bold, interesting side dish alongside something like a steak or lamb and also is substantial enough to make for a light lacto-ovo-vegetarian main course.  The hands on time for this dish is about five minutes max, and the hardest part is cutting open the squash (be careful!).  It also reheats super well, which is great for me, because I bring my lunch to either school or work nearly every single week day.  Basically, the upsides of this dish are ease, super bold flavor, and great reheatability and the downsides are … none.

Chipotle and Gorgonzola Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, carefully sliced lengthwise

2 tbs. butter

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, roughly chopped/crumbled

1 chiptole in adobo, minced, plus 1 tbs. adobo sauce

1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350º.

Melt butter, either in the microwave for about a minute or on the stove top in a small sauce pan.  Add garlic powder and mix in with a fork.

Place the squash on a baking sheet.  Brush the flesh of the squash with the butter, pouring any excess into the cavity.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the squash flesh side up and bake 30-45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, mix together chipotles, adobo sauce, gorgonzola, and honey.

When squash is tender, spoon the chipotle mixture into the center of the squash.  Transfer back to oven and bake another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chipotle mixture is heated through.  Serve immediately.

Bacon Jam “Mexican Pizza”

23 Oct

As promised, bacon jam is good in everything.  But it is especially good in this.  This spin off of Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza takes the concept to a whole new level.  The sweet and savory bacon-y goodness of the bacon jam works well with the smokey heat of the chipotle, the oozing, creamy cheddar and mozzarella cheese, the brine-y olives, and the bright and fresh tomatoes.  The hardest part of this whole recipe was flipping tortillas, but the flavors are bold, bright, and beyond delicious.

If you are going to reheat this dish, do so in the oven or a toaster over, because it remains delicious in a goop-y mess but part of the appeal here is the crispy tortilla shells book ending the soft but textured jam and cheesy topping.

Bacon Jam “Mexican Pizza”

1/2  cup bacon jam

2 tortillas

1 tbs. canola oil

1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 2-3 tbs. adobo sauce

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1 small tomato, diced

Preheat oven to 400º.

On a large griddle or in a cast iron pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add tortillas and cook, flipping frequently, until crispy and golden brown.

Place tortilla on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.  Place bacon jam on the tortilla and, using the back of a spoon, spread into an even layer, leaving about 1/2″ on the edges uncovered.  Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the cheese over the bacon jam.

Add the second tortilla on top.  Spoon the chipotle with adobo sauce in a smooth layer, leaving about 1/2″ on the edge uncovered.  Top with remaining cheese and olives.

Transfer to oven.  Bake about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and center is heated through.  Top with tomato.  Cut into quarters and serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Bacon Jam

21 Oct

Yup.  Bacon jam.  A combination of sweet and savory porky deliciousness.  The combination of ingredients works together very well.  Smoky, porky bacon, sweet caramelized onions highlighted by brown sugar and maple syrup, slightly bitter coffee, and tangy-sweet apple cider vinegar play together to create something special.

The uses for this are endless.  On a fried egg sandwich, an English muffin, a crumpet, a piece of toast … you name it.  It’s also really easy – basically a set it and forget it recipe.  Don’t worry if the onions begin to look burnt to a crisp.  It’s just the coffee darkening things up (and making things extra super tasty).  You can make this any consistency you want.  I didn’t use an immersion blender at the end, and I like the relatively large pieces of bacon, but it’s a personal choice.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Bacon Jam

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 lb. hickory smoked bacon, roughly chopped

2 medium red onions, thickly sliced

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup brewed coffee

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Add bacon into the slow cooker.  Cook on high for one hour.  Drain off all the fat.  Add onions and cook another hour on high.  Add remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat to low and cook another 6-8 hours, stirring every couple of hours.

If desired, use an immersion blender or food processor  to chop to desired consistency.  If necessary, drain off most of remaining fat first.

Store in refrigerator.  Use within a week.

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Fifteen

20 Oct

Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Fifteen

Well, we’ve reached the last week of the Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA.  In this week’s share, we received sweet potatoes, two acorn squash, a bunch of collard greens, a bunch of carrots with greens, a bundle of potatoes, and a dozen apples.

Despite cooking at home every night but yesterday and not having gone shopping for a couple of weeks, we managed to have basically everything leftover form last week.  I don’t know how we managed it.  Compounded by my lack of posting, I feel like a bit of a blogging failure.  I made a couple of good dishes but have failed to post them out of sheer laziness.  Basically, I was a total screw up as far as blogging and intelligent menu planning goes this week.

Tonight, I am going to make collard greens and kale simmered in a spicy tomato sauce.  I have an abundance of squash to use – both butternut and acorn, now.  I think I’m going to do a butternut squash and carrot soup one evening.  I have a few different types of peppers to use up (bell, Yummy orange, hot peppers from a coworkers garden, and jalapeños), so I might to a dish that involves some sautéed melange of peppers over some beans and rice.  Almost two dozen apples are sitting on the counter, so I need to either make more apple cider or apple butter or get my lazy butt baking.  If I can accomplish all of that this week, I’ll be left mainly with potatoes and squash, which are safe in the pantry for awhile.

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